November 7, 2020
Burns, Patricia (nee Forrestal) of Teaneck, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on November 7, 2020. She was 92. Daughter of the late Rose (nee O’Connor) and Raymond Forrestal. Dear wife of the late Joseph (2018). Devoted mother of eight children; Brian Burns, Liz Burns and her late husband Kalevi Hoite, Gerry Burns and husband Harvey Cavayero, Jeanne Burns Marino, Thomas Burns (deceased), Paul Burns and wife Lois, Edward Burns and wife Christine, Cornelia Geraghty and husband Ciaran and foster child, the late Juana Torres. Adored grandmother of Elizabeth, Andrew, Daniel, Maeve, Abigail, Brian, Patrick, Michael, Alex, Emma, Liam, Quinn, Cole, Catherine, Anna, and great granddaughter Mariel. Pat is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by brothers Raymond, Richard and John. Born in New York City, Pat lived in Manhattan and the Bronx before moving to Bergen County, New Jersey in 1960. Pat’s marriage to Joe Burns in 1952 was the start of a long and full life of shared interests and causes, much joy, some sorrow and many children and friends! Pat’s experiences as a high school student at St. Walburga’s Academy/School of the Holy Child in New York City greatly influenced her strong sense of social justice, while also nurturing her spirituality and devotion to the Catholic Church. She was a lifelong activist, and, well into her 90s, she participated in peaceful protests and demonstrations for various causes. Pat enjoyed a long and successful career in education and, as a teacher, made a significant impact on the lives of countless students over many decades. She began teaching in New York City in the 1950s, followed by 25 wonderful years at E. Roy Bixby School in Bogota, New Jersey where she received numerous awards and commendations including Governor Kean’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Bergen County Teacher Fellowship Award for Outstanding Service to the Community, and Teacher of the Year in 1995. She was also the recipient of a letter of recognition from President Bill Clinton in 1996 for being an outstanding educator. Although she retired over 20 years ago, Pat was always the teacher, never missing an opportunity to share with a grandchild, child or friend an interesting and relevant lesson based on current events, American history, family history or the arts. A lifelong love of the arts was instilled in young “Patsy” by her father, Raymond. This passion for theater, music and dance led to her introducing an award-winning annual program in Bogota Public Schools called “Week of the Arts” that recently celebrated its 30th year. An avid reader and gifted writer, Pat belonged to a local writing group, and wrote many short stories, poems and quite a few impassioned letters to the editors of many regional and national newspapers. Pat also enjoyed traveling, and visited many destinations in the United States and beyond, often in the company of family and close friends. Of all of Pat’s accomplishments, she will be most remembered as a dedicated and loyal wife to Joe, and a loving and caring mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend.She will be missed but will always live in our hearts. A lifelong optimist, Pat often quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” Due to COVID safety precautions, services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following charities that were important to Pat: (or a charity of your choice) Society of the Little Flower,www.littleflower.org; St. Christopher’s Inn,www.stchristophersinn.org; Our New Journey,www.ournewjourney.org.
Burns, Patricia (nee Forrestal) of Teaneck, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on November 7, 2020. She was 92. Daughter of the late Rose (nee O’Connor) and Raymond Forrestal. Dear wife of the late... View Obituary & Service Information
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